International Family Law Disputes Are Highly Complex

Divorce disputes often result in contentious child custody battles. These disputes may be heightened when one of the parents abducts a child to a foreign country or illegally brings a child from another country to the United States. At The Law Office of Bryce D. Neier, PLLC, we have extensive experience with international family law matters, and represent U.S. citizens and foreign parents with custody disputes involving international child abduction.

Understanding Your Rights During International Child Custody Disputes

The most powerful tool available to parents involved in international child custody or international child abduction cases is the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. This treaty has been signed by the United States and more than 50 other countries. It provides parents with a legal mechanism for the return of a child withheld illegally in violation of a custody orders from the country that has jurisdiction over the child(ren).

Even under the Hague Convention, there are restrictions and specific procedures regarding how children are returned. Specifically,

  • The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction does not determine custody; it only determines which country has jurisdiction over the case and whether a child(ren) is/are being retained by a parent in violation of established international law.
  • The critical factor in many international child abduction cases is the habitual residence of the child. Even if the child was born in the United States, children may not be returned if their habitual residence was a foreign country.
  • Lawsuits for the return of a child must be filed within one year of the date of the international child abduction or wrongful retention.
  • If it is determined that the child's habitual residence is another country, the child must be returned to that habitual residence absent limited defenses. These limited defenses under the Hague Convention that would allow the court to deny the return of a child. Because these lawsuits are very technical, however, you should never attempt to represent yourself in a Hague Convention action.

Our attorneys have handled a significant number of international child abduction and/or wrongful retention cases. Many of the cases we have handled involved military personnel stationed at Fort Bragg , Pope Air Force Base, and Camp Lejuene, NC.

We have handled international child abduction cases for parents in a number of different countries, including Germany, Canada, Colombia and Spain. Because some countries have not signed the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, we occasionally work through the U.S. Consulates and the foreign courts to secure the reunion of children with their legal guardians.

Contact A Lawyer Who Knows International Family Law

If you are involved in an international family law dispute and your child has been abducted to or from the United States, please contact The Law Office of Bryce D. Neier, PLLC. Our international child custody and international child abduction lawyer is dedicated to returning children to their legal guardian. We can be reached by phone at 800-332-2807 or by filling out this intake form.